"Do you need a valet, sir?"
James looks down at his bicycle and back at the man guarding the University doors; his fingers coming together to form a fist, but he thinks better than to end the conversation with a solid right hook.
"I would but I'm all out of cash. You don't accept credit cards, do you?"
James may be 6 feet tall, but being highly uncoordinated, has perfected the art of accepting defeat when it comes to any physical confrontation or activity. This is why, while his friends spent most summers in Cricket or Football training camps, as a kid, James learnt, played and mastered games of strategy, like Chess - much to the disappointment of his father. To be fair to Pereira Sr., he did learn to accept his son's rather peculiar birthday and Christmas gift needs. As James' mother recounts a story about her husband: he exchanged a pair of seemingly expensive football cleats for a pair of glasses one year, after our little boy fell and broke them. The next year, he bought a football as a gift and decided to lob the ball towards our son for a header, only for his glasses to break, leading to another return and exchange. James did like football players' trading cards he received the following year, but his father was hoping to see his son on a card one day, like he had hoped to be, but had accepted that it would always remain a distant dream.
"Here's to you, dad!", James kisses the locket hanging around his neck and walks through the University doors.
"Good luck. I hope to see you walking out with another coaching badge today.", said the large man manning the valet booth.
Relocating to South Africa months before his father's death, James and his mother have seen some terrible days but together they have survived. Saving little bits of money every month, James has been trying to realize his father's dream, knowing his own strengths. Looking at football like a game of Chess and the two teams as the opposing colours of black and white, James aims to successfully become a football manager.
James Pereira, is one step away from being eligible to manage a football club in South Africa. Being eligible and getting paid to be a football manager are two completely different things in Africa, however, James understands. Most teams go for a manager who has played the sport professionally or at least has some connection to someone in the district or city, to make it easier to work around all the red tapeism in football. It's nearly impossible for a club to pick a guy that can't kick a football to a player standing 4 feet away and who has never had a connection with anybody in power - except that one time he got pulled over for having a broken tail-light.
It's not like James hadn't considered all of this before but he wants his family name a part of footballing lore. James Pereira will be the very best football manager.